In 2002, Carol Tecla Christ became the 10th president of Smith College, one of the largest and most highly regarded women’s colleges in the nation. She forged her reputation as a leader during her 30 years at the University of California at Berkeley, where she began her career as an English professor in 1970. Her first administrative position was as an assistant to the chancellor on issues involving the status of women. After serving as the first female chair of Berkeley’s top-ranked English department from 1985–88, she became dean of humanities and then dean of the College of Letters and Sciences. She reorganized the college’s administrative and budget structure, and strengthened its academic programs despite significant budget reductions. In 1994, she became provost and vice chancellor at Berkeley, then making her the highest-ranking woman ever at the university. During her six years as the university’s top academic officer, she sharpened the institution’s intellectual focus and built top-ranked humanities and science departments. Christ, an authority on Victorian literature and poetry, credits Douglass College with inspiring her to become an academic.